Before you become too involved in an intense fitness regimen—or even if you are already a committed fitness enthusiast—it is important to remember that fitness involves more than pushing your body physically. A bigger picture version of fitness also involves nurturing your body with plenty of rest, a well-rounded diet and regular massage therapy sessions.
Balance is Key
The word balance is good to keep in mind as you attempt to get a grasp on what it means to reach this bigger picture level of fitness. Instead of constantly pushing your body physically, balanced fitness brings in an even dose of the opposite, so that you can avoid the wear-and-tear issues that come from too much repeated physical activity and not enough rest and healing.
To gain a better understanding of this more thorough version of fitness, we can begin with the obvious components of a fitness routine, the action-oriented movements that are common among fitness enthusiasts. For example, a fitness regimen often includes a cardiovascular component, such as riding a bike, jogging, jumping rope or swimming on a consistent basis. Other common elements of a fitness routine involve resistance training. This may mean lifting weights several times each week or doing activities that require you to use your own body weight to perform.
Massage Makes a Difference
As you might imagine, pushing your body in these intense ways on a regular basis can take its toll. Unfortunately, far too few people seem to recognize the importance of rest and massage therapy when it comes to balancing out a committed fitness routine. Without making time for rest and regular massage therapy sessions, you may be increasing your risk for reduced performance and even injury.
Therefore, before you begin your next phase of fitness—or even if you are right in the middle of a serious fitness regimen—sit down and schedule in rest and massage therapy sessions, giving this passive side of fitness as much importance as your cardiovascular and resistance training. For instance, if you work out every day of the week, then you will want to begin by scheduling at least one or two rest days, when you do not participate in your intense fitness routine.
As for your massage therapy sessions, you may need to search to find out what works best for you and your level of fitness training. You may also want to research massage therapists in your area, to find out if certain practitioners specialize in providing massage therapy to various fitness enthusiasts.
Schedule Regular Bodywork
It is good to receive bodywork while you are in massage school so you can further understand what you are being taught and view sessions from a client's perspective. Even after you graduate from massage school and become a practicing therapist, it is always best to continue to receive massage and bodywork sessions for self-care and to experience new techniques and determine how to best set your practice apart.